The Occupy Vs. Tea Party Scorecard

How the two grassroots movements compare on news coverage, public support.

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But the Tea Party has also seen some mission creep. Though the group was founded on antipathy toward big government, large federal deficits and debt, and taxation, many Tea Partiers have also taken on the fight for tougher immigration laws and denouncing climate change.

Still, Occupy has yet to define clear goals. But Rohlinger says it's only a matter of time; as with political clout, Occupy's deficiencies in this area likely are in part due to the fact that it is still a newborn movement. "Over time we'll see nationally or in localities the message of the Occupy movement narrowing. Because if they want to keep people involved, they have to say really clearly what they want to do."

Point goes to: Tea Party

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Public Support According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll released this week, the two movements together have considerable influence in the United States: Half of voters identify with either the Tea Party or the Occupy movement. This support is relatively even: 25 percent of respondents consider themselves supporters of the Tea Party movement, compared to 28 percent who are supporters of Occupy.

The two-and-a-half-year-old Tea Party has clearly proven that it is more than a flash in the pan, whereas the young Occupy movement has not yet had the opportunity to prove its staying power. But what Occupy lacks in longevity, it makes up for in geographic reach. While the Tea Party's support has remained mostly confined within U.S. borders, Occupy-affiliated protests have sprouted in London, Paris, Tokyo, and Rome.

Point goes to: Tie

Twitter: @titonka

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